Foods That Have a Positive Effect on Mood

We find that nutrition is a great way to influence recovery and create momentum toward positive change.

Eat Your Way to a Better Mood

When depression takes hold, it is hard to shake it without proper treatment. Treatment for depression usually includes anti-depressants and therapy. Effective depression treatment may also include putting the right foods into your body.

A study by researchers at the University of Montreal found that Omega-3’s are effective in treating patients with major depression who do not also suffer from anxiety disorders. The study, published in the online Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, was purported to be the largest conducted on Omega-3’s effectiveness for treating major depression.

The symptoms of depression improved in those study participants who were given Omega-3 supplements. The improvement was comparable to that experienced by people who undergo more conventional anti-depressant treatment.

Omega-3’s are a popular alternative treatment for depression, especially since they carry less stigma than taking medications or seeking therapy might. Omega-3’s are also easy to integrate into your daily routine so that you can tackle the symptoms of depression on your own.

Where to Find Omega-3’s

Studies have suggested that a deficit in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may predispose certain people to such disorders as depression. Omega-3’s can also be effective for lessening symptoms associated with fatigue, joint pain, diabetes and dry skin.

The health benefits of Omega-3’s are numerous, and include the following:

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Reduce symptoms of hypertension, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and joint pain
  • Boost the immune system
  • Protect from such illnesses as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer

Getting essential Omega-3’s may be as easy as making a trip to the grocery store. Foods that contain this good type of fat include the following:

  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Flax seeds
  • Sardines
  • Spices, such as basil and oregano
  • Mackerel
  • Grape leaves
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Anchovies
  • Vegetable oil
  • Herring
  • Spinach

For the study, results were seen when doses of 1050 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 150 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were taken daily. The study didn’t determine if taking higher doses or taking supplements for longer than eight weeks would have different results.

Treating Your Depression

If you are suffering from depression, or are beginning to notice the symptoms of depression, try to incorporate more foods into your diet that include Omega-3’s. Doing so may help you avoid more intensive treatment that requires medication and therapy.

If your symptoms do not go away despite the change in your diet, it may be necessary to seek professional treatment for your depression. Start by calling a therapist or residential treatment center that specializes in depression to do an assessment of how severe your depression is. Depending on your diagnosis, you may need regular therapy sessions or more intensive inpatient treatment.

Effective depression treatment should not only include therapy and medication, but lifestyle changes that improve your mood. Get proper exercise, participate in things you enjoy and get enough sleep each night. Doing these things in addition to treating the symptoms of your depression will result in a more successful recovery.